The Fair

traditional worship              progressive theology              welcoming community

Against the backdrop of a beautiful view of Mount Monadnock, the First Church in Jaffrey holds its annual Fair on the first Wednesday in August from 1 to 4 pm with food available beginning 12:30, in this iconic New England village that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The First Wednesday in August

From 1 to 4 pm with food available beginning 12:30

105th SUMMER FAIR RETURNS AUG. 3 AT FIRST CHURCH IN JAFFREY 

For more than 100 years, the First Church in Jaffrey has welcomed the Monadnock community to its annual Summer Fair. Naturally the festivities have changed over time, but the purpose remains the same – to offer wonderful food, activities just for children, and a unique opportunity for families and visitors to walk and talk while browsing for treasures at bargain prices. Funds raised help support more than one dozen local social service organizations and scholarships for Conant HS graduates.

The 105th Fair this year falls on Wednesday, August 3, from 1 to 4. Deluxe bag lunches will be available at 12:30. A snack bar located on the corner of the Meetinghouse offers hot dogs and sodas also opens at 12:30. Admission is free, parking is ample, and places to sit are scattered around the Common and First Church buildings.

The Fair features something for everyone! The venues include antiques and collectibles in the Meetinghouse, along with “white elephants.” You will find a garden center on the Common and fine art in the church sanctuary. Vintage and decorative linens, as well as tools and small electronics are sited near the Meetinghouse. The Bakery and the bag lunches can be found in the church parish house.

At the Children’s Fair held in the Horsesheds, kids can play games to win prizes, decorate cupcakes, and find treasures to buy. And anyone can buy a ticket for a ride in a Model T auto.

This event depends on roughly 100 volunteers to set up, sort, sell, park cars, and clean up. While the church’s congregation plans and organizes the Fair, two-thirds of the workers come from the wider community. The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce helps with publicity, and several local businesses contribute time, equipment, and money.

 Because COVID is still with us, masking and social distancing are recommended, especially in indoor areas.

 For information, go to www.firstchurchinjaffrey.org or call 603-532-7979.

Donations Needed

Look around your home (including attic, basement, and garage) for “treasures” that are in good condition, attractive, clean, and in working order that we can sell in one of our many venues.

There will be three dates to drop off items at the Blackberry Lane entrance to the Parish House:

Tuesday, July 12 • 9-11 am
Thursday, July 21 • 2-4pm
Saturday July 30 • 11am-1pm

The Annual Fair event depends on roughly 100 volunteers and the support of local businesses to set up, sort, sell, park cars, and clean up. While the church’s congregation plans and organizes the Fair, two-thirds of the workers come from the wider community. Funds raised help support more than one dozen local social service organizations and scholarships for Conant HS graduates.

For other Fair information, contact Bruce Hill at bwhill1947@gmail.com or 508-280-9546.

So goes the old saying “Many hands make light work”! Many hands labor for the First Church Fairs, which also benefit our wider community. We are grateful to the many neighbors, community friends and roped-in ‘helpers’ who make the 104th FAIR at the First Church in Jaffrey possible! The FAIR takes place THIS WEDNESDAY, AUG 3RD from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Hot dogs on the grill or pick-up boxed lunches are available starting 12:30. COME, this is quite an experience…families center their reunions around it. Friends meet here from near and far. Prices are low and the quality is screened.

A COMMUNITY TRADITION SINCE 1916

Seeking treasures from old houses and seeking bargains inside the 1775 Meetinghouse is an exciting regional tradition for hundreds of shoppers. The Children’s Fair, by the 1810 Horsesheds, has hundreds of children playing games, winning prizes, and getting rides in a Model T Ford. The Fair draws roughly 100 volunteers, 2/3 from the wider community, who set up, sort, and sell something for everyone: plants and art to antiques, china, jewelry, household goods, small appliances, tools and baked goods.

SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY

More than half the net proceeds support more than a dozen local and regional social service organizations and college scholarships for Conant High School graduates. Groups receiving donations from the 2019 Fair proceeds were: Home Health Care Hospice & Community Services; Jaffrey Emergency Fund; Jaffrey Food Pantry; Meals on Wheels; Monadnock Adult Day Care Center; Monadnock Area Psychotherapy & Spiritual Services (MAPS); Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter; Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention; Monadnock Community Early Learning Center; Monadnock Family Services; Shelter from the Storm; Reality Check; Got Lunch; and Jaffrey Rindge Memorial Ambulance Service.

Rev. Steve Miller
And Wife Dr. Jill Tyler

The Rev. Steve G. Miller started his ministry at The First Church in Jaffrey in January 2022, after a unanimous vote of approval by the congregation in October of 2021 when he visited and conducted worship. His wife, Dr. Jill Tyler, will join him in the First Church parsonage after she retires in May as professor and chair of the University of South Dakota (USD) Communications Department. Currently Leah and Luke Summit (Steve and Jill’s daughter and son-in-law) and the Summit’s two boys are staying with Miller while the young family looks for a house in the greater Boston area.

“I am very excited about getting to know all the people in Jaffrey, the church and the wider Jaffrey community!  I’ve met neighbors walking my dog and playing in front of the parsonage with my two grandsons, who are ages 2-1/2 and nine months.”  Miller confessed: “I’m a bit of a schmoozer.”

For the past 26 years Miller was the senior pastor at the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Vermillion SD.  Originally a New Englander, Miller grew up in  Worcester, MA, in what is now the United Congregational Church.  Miller shared, in his first Sunday leading worship at First Church: “I used to come up here to climb Monadnock as a kid.  It’s like returning home.  I love the mountains, the trees, the ponds and rivers – it’s beautiful here.”

A man of many interests, Miller spent five years studying Lakota spirit, language and music. He invited the Lakota community to hold sacred ceremonies at the UCC church. Speaking for the Lakota community during a farewell gathering honoring Miller, one participant observed that he and Steve have been friends for years and call each other “Kola,” the Lakota term for brother.

At this same event Miller was honored by the Vermillion Community Theatre with a poster of six photos of him in community theater productions that was headlined “Actor, Playwright, Songwriter, Musician, Director of Spirit” in appreciation of his and the church’s support in helping the theater build a center for performing arts at the Vermillion high school.  A devoted baseball fan, Miller was a leader of the Vermillion Youth Baseball Association for players 5 to 12 for many years.

The title of teacher also belongs in Miller’s repertoire, as demonstrated by his popular “World Religions” course at the University of SD.   The University’s provost Kurt Hackemer observed that an important Miller offering was titled “The Pipe and the Cross,” about the intersection of Christianity and native spirituality. “So many students considered this THE great class, the best class that they ever had at USD,” the provost added.

Steve Miller graduated from Springfield College in 1981. He began studying at Yale Divinity School and transferred to the Pacific School of Religion, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1987.  He served churches in Bethlehem, CT and Gilman, IA before going to Vermillion in 1995. Rev. Miller has also been involved with Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality in Oak Park, IL for more 30 years through retreats, conferences, and classes.

Please come to First Church in Jaffrey at 10:30 on Sundays and meet Steve Miller!

Gene Faxon
Minster of Music

Gene brings his experience with teaching music and his expertise on the organ, piano, and harpsichord. He leads the choir as well as organizes special musical worship and other church events. Gene is also an accomplished recorder player.  During the pandemic Gene and three ladies have become a harmonious quartet.  We enjoy their offerings on multiple occasions during our services.  The congregation joins this group in singing Taize chants and hymns selected from the Pilgrim Hymnal and the New Century Hymnal.

Judy Lessard
Administrative Assistant

Judy brings her corporate experience. Working with our pastor and music minister, she creates the worship bulletins, sends out e-blasts, and monitors phone calls and church email. Working with our treasurer, she maintains the QuickBooks database and generates financial reports. Working with the communications team, she creates, prints, and distributes the church newsletter.

Officers

In late January 2022, First Church heartily welcomed (bottom row)  Roy Lake, Pam Hill,  David Bliss and Janet Grant as new Trustees.  Nancy Elder-Wilfrid is the new Clerk and in the top row is Ann St. Cyr Gordon (Treasurer) and Sam Greene Moderator.

Officers:

Sam Greene, Moderator
Ann Gordon, Treasurer
Nancy Elder-Wilfrid, Clerk

 
Trustees:

David Bliss
Janet Grant
Pam Hill
Roy Lake
Tom Warren
Dan Wilfrid